We're Up to the Task

John G. Swanson
August 17, 2010
COLUMN : Opening Remarks | Design & Performance

Once again, Window & Door is honored to recognize in this issue significant innovations and achievements in window and door technology, manufacturing, and marketing with the Crystal Achievement Awards. Especially when there’s been so much bad news in the industry over the past few years, I can tell you it is a real pleasure to focus on the positive.

Looking at our winners—and all our nominees for that matter—I can say there is much to feel positive about. And I am not alone. “I am not sure what it is about this year, but there were some terrific entries,” wrote Tyson Schwartz, VP of sales and marketing for Gorell Windows & Doors, and one of our judges for this year’s awards. “Any 2010 Crystal Achievement Award winner should be extremely proud of their achievement, as they really had to earn their award.”

The strong field said to me that that ours is a resilient industry. Despite tough market conditions, window and door manufacturers and industry suppliers have stepped up efforts to innovate and enhance their products and services. The caliber of this year's winners–as well as all our nominees–suggests many companies have been focused on positioning themselves for better times ahead.
The innovations of our Crystal Achievement Award winners today also tell us much more about the future.

In Mikron’s EnergyCore window system, the Bystronic sashline, and Simonton’s ETC Glass Package marketing program, it is easy to see that our industry continues to embrace energy efficiency. Companies are pushing the envelope in developing new technologies and getting the word out about what today’s windows and doors can do.

This year’s winners also make it clear that energy efficiency is not the sole priority in the market. Our judges recognized many companies working to provide homeowners with more design options—and not just at the high end. Harvey’s BetterGrain window finish options and the GED ColorTru System indicate that builders and homeowners no longer have to settle for white.

The same can be said for enhanced functionality. Lindsay Windows’ new window enables homeowners to have both high-performance glass options and internal mini-blinds. Schlage’s new lock—which comes with its own app allowing homeowners to operate it via cell phone—sets the stage for a whole new generation of wireless products.

Let me conclude by offering my personal congratulations to all the 2010 honorees. They should be proud indeed to have their products, equipment, plants and marketing materials recognized by our judges. Let me say thank you to our judges, too. I know those of you who decide to help us again next year will have your work cut out for you.

All our 2010 Crystal Achievement Award winners are impressive. They raise the bar for us all. I am confident the industry will respond too. The pace of innovation—strong even in challenging times—will pick up as the new construction and remodeling markets continue their slow rebound. More projects will get the green light. Companies will finally pull the trigger on new product launches. I expect some exciting years ahead.

New demands will be placed on our industry in the coming years.  The government will continue to set more stringent performance standards. Consumers will want more choices in door and window styles and finishes. Builders and contractors will want more support services.  And everyone will still want a lower price.  Our Crystal Achievement Award winners show, as an industry, we're up to the task.